Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger hit with misconduct charge over clash with fourth official

Ross McLean
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Arsenal v Burnley - Premier League
Arsene Wenger has until 6pm on Thursday to respond to the Football Association charge (Source: Getty)

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is poised to receive a touchline ban after being slapped with a misconduct charge by the Football Association (FA) following his altercation with fourth official Anthony Taylor on Sunday.

Wenger, 67, was dismissed from his technical area, having been incensed at the decision of referee Jon Moss to award Burnley a late penalty in their clash, which the Gunners eventually won 2-1, at Emirates Stadium.

He is subsequently alleged to have used “abusive and/or insulting words towards the fourth official”, before then appearing to shove Taylor after the official told him he could not watch the remainder of the fixture from the players’ tunnel.

“It is further alleged that following his dismissal from the technical area, his behaviour in remaining in the tunnel area and making physical contact with the fourth official amounted to improper conduct,” read an FA statement.

Wenger apologised for the incident during his post-match press conference. He has until 6pm on Thursday to respond and indicate whether he accepts or contests the charge.

“I regret everything,” said Wenger. “I should have shut up, gone in and gone home. I apologise for that.”

Wenger could receive a punishment ranging from a fine to a stadium ban should he be found guilty. There is no standard punishment and the independent regulatory commission, which will hear his case, has the scope to impose a multitude of sanctions.

In 2012, then Newcastle manager Alan Pardew was given a two-match touchline suspension and fined £20,000 for pushing assistant referee Peter Kirkup in a match against Tottenham at St James’ Park.

Similar punishment for Wenger would see him banned from the dugout for Saturday’s FA Cup showdown at Southampton and next week’s Premier League tussle against Watford.

A more extreme case saw former Blackpool boss Paul Ince hit with a five-match stadium ban, as well as £4,000 fine, for shoving fourth official Mark Pottage during a match at Bournemouth in 2013. Ince, however, had been charged with violent conduct.

While Chelsea boss, Jose Mourinho was banned from attending his side’s match at Stoke and fined £40,000 after admitting a misconduct charge over his behaviour during the Stamford Bridge club’s match at West Ham in October 2015.

In that instance, Mourinho’s punishment was considered an aggregation of offences that season, while Wenger’s sanction, despite a Premier League crackdown on abusive touchline behaviour, is likely to be less strict.